Tunnel vision and the unexpected natural beauty of Montenegro

Bang! What was that? Oh, just our trailer jack-knifing, as Vlad our driver threw the gears of our minivan into reverse and accelerated back to meet his friend traveling in the opposite direction. Our travels over the high border country between Bosnia and Montenegro had held us spellbound. Limestone mountains, dissected by the raging Piva river … More Tunnel vision and the unexpected natural beauty of Montenegro

Sarajevo Roses and the Miss Sarajevo beauty contest – our Bosnian experience

There are roses blooming in Sarajevo in June 2015 but 23 years ago it was a different story. Sarajevo Roses are craters left by mortar shells and filled with red resin to signify the blood that was shed here in the city, which was beseiged for 44 months from 1992-1996 by the Serbian Nationist Army. … More Sarajevo Roses and the Miss Sarajevo beauty contest – our Bosnian experience

Vukovar to Beograd – Trying to get our heads around Balkan history

Sava and Duna rivers meeting at Beograd Beograd (Belgrade), which sits on the confluence of the Duna and Sava rivers, means ‘white city’, based on its local white stone and it can trace its origins back to pre-Roman times. Its strategic importance to different conquering tribes and armies was evident, as we looked down on … More Vukovar to Beograd – Trying to get our heads around Balkan history

Budapest Icons – Parliament Building, Buda Castle and the Chain Bridge

Orszaghaz (Budapest Parliament) is one of the oldest legislative buildings in Europe. Modelled on the British Houses of Parliament it was inaugurated in 1896 to mark 1000 years of Magyar history in Hungary, even though construction had commenced 16 years earlier. It is, along with the Chain Bridge and the Buda Castle, a World Heritage site and … More Budapest Icons – Parliament Building, Buda Castle and the Chain Bridge

Music adventures with Ferenc, Zoltan, Bela and Erno

The Liszt Ferenc Zenemuveszeti Foiskola or Franz Liszt Academy of Music stands in a lovely quiet pedestrian  street off Andrassy ut. Here generations of Hungarian music students benefit from the investment in ethnomusicology and incorporation of Magyar folk traditions into classical music, which is uniquely Hungarian. Zoltan Kodaly (pro nounced Kodai) led this movement, followed … More Music adventures with Ferenc, Zoltan, Bela and Erno

Budapest – where the East meets the West at the Thermal Baths

Our third visit to this wonderful city has not disappointed us. Arriving at Keleti main train station, with its dusty and slightly dishevelled platforms and the vast iron and glass ceiling stretching above us, we knew we had left the clean and orderly environ of Western Europe and had stepped across some invisible eastern line. … More Budapest – where the East meets the West at the Thermal Baths